COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach David Passmore announced the addition of Abigail Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) to the senior squad. This is along with two staff members who join the USWNT in specialist coach Pietie Coetzee-Turner (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and goalkeeper coach Jackie Briggs (Winston-Salem. N.C.).
A Dexter, Mich. native, Tamer grew up watching her older sister play and finally got her chance in the seventh grade after her mom started a very successful program in her hometown, and because she needed a second sport to play. Along with field hockey, she also played ice hockey and soccer, something she continued until her junior year in high school before the season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She only started playing club because over a Thanksgiving weekend, she had a choice of either traveling with her dad to her brother's ice hockey tournament or with her mom and sister to the National Hockey Festival in California. She decided to go to California and since she was going figured she might as well play too. She contacted her Pinnacle Field Hockey club coach, Nancy Cox, and she gave her a spot, even though she decided very late to join.
As part of the Dexter High School, she helped guide the Dreadnaughts to two Division 1 State Championships, while also being named Michigan Player of the Year (x2) and earning First Team All-America honors (2019).
Currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Tamer was named to the Preseason Big Ten Players to Watch list and NFHCA All-West Region Second Team in 2022, and NFHCA All-Academic Team, Scholar of Distinction in 2021 and 2022.
Tamer spent 12 days in January with the U.S. Women’s National Team training at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
“Abby got a late call up to Argentina for our training camp in December with the support of Michigan and I’m impressed from the outset by her attitude, physicality and attacking prowess scoring in her second practice game against Argentina,” commented Passmore. “She has a super attitude which we saw further for a short time in Chula Vista and it will be good for her to spend time developing with the team this summer.”
Coetzee-Turner has joined the staff as a specialist coach. Arguably one of the most highly regarded strikers in the world, she is a three-time Olympian representing South Africa at the Sydney 2000, Athlete 2004 and London 2012 Olympic Games. She finished her playing career as the all-time female scoring leader, notching 287 goals over 289 international matches.
Her international career began in 1995, when Coetzee-Turner represented South Africa at the Atlanta Challenge cup and became the youngest player at 16 years old to represent the nation on such a stage. The two-time South African Hockey Player of the Year (1997, 2002) went on to play in four World Cups and was named the tournament’s Leading Scorer in 2002.
In 2006, she served as an assistant coach at Indiana University, while also holding numerous roles across South Africa. Along with leading the University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg as head coach, Coetzee-Turner was director of hockey at St. David’s Marist Inanda from 2016 to 2019.
From 2020 to 2022, Coetzee-Turner was the assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts. The Minutewomen posted back-to-back double-digit win seasons in 2021 and 2022, highlighted by an Atlantic 10 Championship appearance last season. In January 2023, Coetzee-Turner was named the associate head coach at Wake Forest.
“Pietie is an important addition to our team and it has worked perfectly that she is moving close to Charlotte,” said Passmore. “She can work with our [drag] flickers and strikers on a weekly basis as we are behind in this area. She had an immediate impact during our Chula Vista training camp and the athletes responded to her wealth of international hockey knowledge.”
One of the most notable goalkeepers to have represented Team USA, Briggs will join the staff as a goalkeeper coach, alongside specialist David Williamson.
As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team for 9 years, she competed in 184 international matches for Team USA. She represented at the London 2012 (alternate) and Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 2014 and 2018 World Cups. She was nominated for the FIH Hockey Stars Awards Female Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Following her playing career, Briggs joined the staff of the University of North Carolina as the volunteer assistant in 2018 to 2019. In April 2020, she joined the staff at Wake Forest University as an assistant coach. She has helped lead the Demon Deacons to a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2022.
“Jackie is another perfect addition to our team and we can’t thank Jen Averill and Wake Forest for their support of both Pietie and Jackie joining our group around their schedule,” stated Passmore. “Having worked with David as a coach, Jackie will ensure we have continuity of goalkeeper coaching on a weekly basis. She also brings passion and energy for the development of this team more generally.”
Two USWNT athletes have decided to step away from the program. Kelsey Farkas for a long-standing injury and Erin Matson to concentrate on her new role as head coach at the University of North Carolina.
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